Strain rate (SR) and strain (epsilon) have been proposed as new ultrasound (US) indices for quantifying regional wall deformation, and can be measured from color Doppler myocardial data by determining the local spatial velocity gradient. The aim of this study was to define normal regional SR/epsilon values for both radial and longitudinal myocardial deformation. SR/epsilon profiles were obtained from 40 healthy volunteers. For radial deformation, posterior left ventricular (LV) wall SR/epsilon were calculated. For longitudinal, they were determined for basal, mid- and apical segments of the 1. septum; 2. lateral, 3. posterior and 4. anterior LV walls and for the 5. right ventricular (RV) lateral wall. SR/epsilon values describing radial deformation were higher than the corresponding SR/epsilon values obtained for longitudinal deformation. Longitudinal SR/epsilon were homogeneous throughout the septum and all LV walls. This was in contrast to the normal base-apex velocity gradient. The RV segmental SR/epsilon values were higher than those obtained from the corresponding LV wall and inhomogeneous (higher in the apical segments). SR/epsilon imaging appears to be a robust technique for quantifying regional myocardial deformation.